Rich Uncle Pennybags is the rotund old man in a top hat who serves as the mascot of the game Monopoly. Rich Uncle Pennybags was rechristened Mr. Monopoly (the nickname by which he was already popularly known) in a Hasbro marketing effort in 1999. He also is known as Whiff from all the casino slot machines. He also appears in the related games Advance to Boardwalk, Free Parking, Don't Go To Jail, Monopoly City, Monopoly Junior, and Monopoly Deal.
The character first appeared on Chance and Community Chest cards in U.S. editions of Monopoly in 1936. The identity of the artist who designed the character has remained a mystery. Historian and author Philip Orbanes wrote in 2004 that it is believed that the character is based on either the calling cards of Albert Richardson (Parker Brothers' first traveling salesman), the character of "Little Esky" from Esquire magazine, or a combination of the two. Orbanes later wrote, in 2006, that the character was also partially influenced by the stature and dress of financier and banker J. P. Morgan.
The unnamed character made his first appearance outside of Monopoly within the Parker Brothers' game Dig, released before the U.S. entered World War II. The character did not receive a name until 1946 when the game Rich Uncle was published by Parker Brothers. His likeness appeared on that game's box lid, game instructions, and currency.
Between 1985 and 2008, the character appeared in the second "O" in the word Monopoly as part of the game's logo. While this logo has generally been adopted worldwide, the character still only appears on Chance and Community Chest cards on U.S. versions, though not in certain themed releases.
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